Putin was forced to invade Ukraine by the people and ministers, Berlusconi claims

Putin was forced to invade Ukraine by the people and ministers, Berlusconi claims
Putin was forced to invade Ukraine by the people and ministers, Berlusconi claims

Rome/Kyiv – Former Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi defended Russian President Vladimir Putin, who, according to him, was forced to invade Ukraine by “the Russian people, his party and his ministers” and responded to the calls of pro-Russian separatists. Berlusconi, whose party has a good chance of participating in a new government after Sunday’s elections as part of a right-wing coalition, also said Thursday evening on Rai TV that Putin wanted to replace the government in Kiev with a “government of decent people.” The DPA agency informed about it today.

“Putin was forced into this special operation by the Russian people, by his party, by his ministers,” said Berlusconi, among others, who used the term the Russian president used to describe the invasion of Ukraine that began on February 24. According to him, the Russian plan was to conquer Kyiv “in a week” and replace the government of Ukrainian President Volodymyr Zelensky with “the government of decent people”.

“The troops were supposed to march there, replace the Zelenskyi government with decent people and withdraw again in a week. Instead, they encountered unexpected resistance, fueled by weapons of all kinds from the West. I feel bad when I hear about so many dead, because I have always said that war is the greatest madness of all,” Berlusconi’s APA agency quoted him as saying.

Berlusconi’s remarks were criticized by his rivals for Sunday’s election. The leader of the centrist Action (Azione) party, Carlo Calenda, described these comments as “truly tragic” and Berlusconi as “something between Putin’s press spokesman and a military adviser”. The head of the centre-left Democratic Party (PD), Enrico Letta, said on Twitter today that he was “speechless” and that “voters will choose September 25”.

After stormy reactions from all sides, Berlusconi issued a statement today saying that his views were “too simplistic”. “Aggression against Ukraine is unjustifiable and unacceptable. The position of the Up Italy party is clear. We will always stand on the side of the EU and NATO,” he added.

Mykhaylo Podoljak, the adviser to the head of the Ukrainian presidential office, reacted to Berlusconi’s words. As he stated, he believes that the former Italian prime minister likes to “stand on the side of the winners, and in this case it is definitely not Russia or Putin”. “I think that the Italians and especially Mr. Berlusconi are quite pragmatic and understand that, considering the current internal political situation in Russia and the situation on the front, it would be a mistake to support Russia in the medium term,” Podoljak was quoted as saying by Reuters.

According to the DPA agency, Berlusconi fueled the fears of some analysts about a change in the Italian government’s foreign policy if it is formed by a right-wing bloc. In addition to Berlusconi’s Up Italy party, it also includes two far-right groups, League and Brothers of Italy. League leader Matteo Salvini has also defended Putin in the past and this year has repeatedly criticized the sanctions imposed by the West on Moscow due to the Russian invasion of Ukraine. However, Giorgia Meloni, whose Brothers of Italy party has the best chance of winning Sunday’s election according to polls, has said several times that she will continue to support Ukraine, as Mario Draghi’s government has done so far.

Italy Russia Ukraine Putin election fight Berlusconi

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Tags: Putin forced invade Ukraine people ministers Berlusconi claims

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